Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beach Time!

Sand, Sun and Ocean

Another effort at a beach vacation, although it is difficult for me to imagine one without sun. Maria and I had arranged to start our journey at 5 AM, so Maya and I were packed and ready to go before then, but Maria, Hernan, and Gabriel arrived at the house some time after 5:30 and we got onto the 'Oriental' by 6. The road to Santo Domingo was treacherous, but not too full of traffic. Hernan is a good driver, although fast and not averse to risk, so I purposefully closed my eyes and tried not to pay attention. So time passed quickly and it felt as if we were on the coast in no time. We drove to Pedernales, where we stopped at 'La Choza' on the Malecon, exactly the same restaurant where Eric, Maya and I had lunch on our way home from Canoa and watched the world cup game when Germany battered Australia at 4:0. We arrived in time to watch the second half of the game between Germany and Argentina, again with Germany winning at 4:0!

Maria had chosen to stay at 'Punta Blanca', near Jama south of Pedernales. She had been there with Gabriel and Hernan when Gabriel was small and had good memories of the place. The accommodations were in tents with communal bathrooms, very rustic but reasonably comfortable. We were all happy to arrive in glorious sunshine. It took no time to be in our swimsuits and checking out the surf. The children were in heaven. The water was warm, the waves kept coming, and they never wanted to leave the ocean. The tents were at the top of a cliff, and we had to walk down 138 steps to get to the water, and again up the 138 steps to the restaurant for lunch. I had been looking forward to shrimp and calamari and ceviche and was not disappointed.

Gabriel and Maya

The Paraguay España game kept us from the sun for a short while, but Gabriel and Maya were eager to run down the stairs to the water for an afternoon in the sun. We were so relieved to have good weather! The children were happy to have each other and I enjoyed having a companion on the beach, although I was happy to read my book and plunge into the waves as well. This was more like the beach vacation I was looking forward to!

Buried in my book, it took a while to register that the screaming that I heard was Maya's, and that it was not yelps of joy. For a moment, I thought she had lost a part of her anatomy, but when I reached her I discovered long blue green tendrils of a jelly fish clinging to her thigh. Her hands were inflamed and a figure of the number '5' was outlined on her leg. I had her wash herself off and put aloe vera cream wherever she was stung. I expected that she would be avoidant of the water after that, but other than preferring that an adult join her each time, she spent as much time as possible in the water.

Jellyfish Five